CARY— After 110 minutes of play, it went down to penalty kicks and Jacksonville slipped past Mooresville
2-1 in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 3-A men’s soccer championship at SAS Soccer Park on Saturday night.
Jacksonville outscored the Blue Devils 4-2 in the penalty kick session to take the title. Goalkeeper Ross Willard of Jacksonville came up with a key save and then Kirk Peterson’s successful kick assured the Cardinals of victory.
Although both teams had some scoring opportunities, the game was scoreless until the final five minutes of regulation. Hunter McNamara headed home a great cross from Adam Cunningham at the 75:14 mark to put Jacksonville on top by a 1-0 count.
Then with just 34.8 seconds left in regulation, Bryan Porcello of Mooresville played a long ball forward that wound up deflecting off the back of a Jacksonville defender who was sprinting back, and Grady Dwiggins collected it and knocked it in to tie the game.
The two teams then battled through a pair of 10-minute overtime sessions and then a pair of five-minute sudden victory periods before moving to penalty kicks.
Cunningham, a sophomore forward, was named the championship match’s Most Valuable Player.
Jacksonville earned its first NCHSAA state soccer championship in challenging fashion. The Cardinals qualified as a wild card and won five playoff games on the road before taking the state crown. The Cards finished with a 16-7-1 slate while Mooresville closed at 21-4 after entering the finals on a 12-game winning streak.
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
2005 STATE 3-A MEN’S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
SAS Soccer Park, Cary
1 2 OT OT OT OT PK
Jacksonville 0 1 0 0 0 0 1*–2
Mooresville 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 – 1
*Jacksonville won on penalty kicks 4-2.
75:14 J – Hunter McNamara (Adam Cunningham)
79:26.2 M—Grady Dwiggins (Bryan Porcello)